Boston, MA - When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, they seemed to be well-positioned for a solid future in the NHL. Most of the respect for the team stemmed from Tim Thomas, the rock solid goalie for the Bruins who looked unflappable throughout the majority of the 2011 championship run. However, the Bruins have only returned to the finals once since 2011 and they lost handily. The recurring insecurities over the goalie position were certainly a major factor with this, even if it was not the sole cause of inconsistency in Boston's hockey landscape.
From the outset of Thomas' post-championship run, it was clear that he was not the same goalie and his stranglehold over the position turned into a timeshare with the then-young upstart Tuukka Rask. Eventually, Rask nabbed the official title of Bruins goalie. But now, it seems like history may be repeating itself.
After leaving for the team for personal reasons, Rask has now rejoined the Boston Bruins at today's practice, but he is certainly facing questions regarding his capability to shoulder the load as the Bruins goalie. Fortunately, Rask does not have media hurricanes surrounding him to distract from his duties as goalie; he is simply forced to reckon with what seems to be a decline in talent.
The Bruins are currently 10-5-2 on the season and their starting goalie has only a record of 4-4-0 with diminishing returns from Rask. It's been Jaroslav Halak who has held up most of the goal tending duties for Boston and he boasts an even better record of 6-1-2 in the early parts of the season. Halak has played in more games than Rask, sure, but he also has a save percentage that is forty-four points higher than the man whose job he seems to be aiming for. Playing in three more games than Rask, he has also allowed three fewer goals.
Rask headed back to the practice and he said that he will surely figure out his goal tending woes in time to help better contribute to the Bruins' seasonal aspirations. But with the stellar play of Halak (behind seventy-seven saves in the past two games), it might be too little too late.